INTRO: The need for strong oversight of our large financial corporations was made starkly clear by their collapse in 2008. Nonetheless, necessary changes have not happened. The six huge financial corporations are bigger than ever, despite concern that they were too big to fail back in 2008. News of illegal activity in the financial sector continues to surface regularly and financial corporations are increasingly engaging in activities similar to those that led up to the 2008 crash. [1] (See posts of 8/29/12 and 7/12/12 for background.)

Strong oversight and regulation are needed from the Federal Reserve and the Securities and Exchange Commission, among others. (See posts of 7/31/12, 5/31/12, and 5/29/12 for background.) The government bailout (trillions of dollars in total) and the economic recession (that we still haven’t recovered from) that followed must not be allowed to happen again.

Here are two steps that should happen to increase oversight and accountability, while reducing risk of a re-occurrence of the 2008 crash. I include (see below) links to petitions you can sign (each in a minute or less) that will register your support for them:

  • President Obama should NOT to nominate Larry Summers as the next head of the Federal Reserve (the Fed)
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) should implement and enforce disclosure of the compensation given to the heads of the big financial corporations


Larry Summers is apparently Obama’s leading candidate to replace Ben Bernanke as the chairman of the Federal Reserve in January. Summers is a former Treasury Secretary, Obama economic advisor, and Harvard University President. He is currently a paid consultant to Citigroup, one of the six huge Wall St. financial corporations.

Summers contributed to the financial collapse — he helped lead the charge to deregulate Wall Street in the 1990s, he blocked efforts to regulate derivatives (which were a key cause of the 2008 collapse), and he dismissed concerns about deregulation just before the 2008 crash that tanked the economy. [2]

We need strong leadership at the Fed. We need someone willing to stand up to Wall Street instead of letting them play by their own rules and bailing them out when the going gets tough. Larry Summers is not that man.

Please email President Obama via the Daily Kos website now — tell him not to appoint Larry Summers to lead the Fed. (from Michael Langenmayr, Campaign Director, Daily Kos blog site. Paste the following address into your web browser if the link doesn’t work: http://campaigns.dailykos.com/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=505)


Please urge the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) to enforce the law on disclosure of CEO’s salaries. Excessive CEO salaries contributed to the reckless financial culture that nearly ruined our economy.

The Dodd-Frank financial reform law, which Congress passed in 2010, requires publicly traded corporations to disclose how much their executives make and compare it to their average worker’s pay. Three years later, the law still hasn’t been implemented. Why? Because the SEC has not produced the regulations needed to implement the law. Meanwhile, big corporations are putting pressure on the SEC and Congress to quietly kill this requirement.

This is basic public information that we have the right to know, and will help prevent the next financial crisis. Join Daily Kos and USAction by signing this petition to the SEC, urging them to enforce Dodd-Frank’s provision on disclosing CEO salaries. (from Paul Hogarth, Daily Kos blog site. Paste the following address into your web browser if the link doesn’t work: http://campaigns.dailykos.com/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=518)

My next post will describe, and give you the opportunity to be a citizen co-sponsor of, Congressional legislation to reduce risk and improve stability at our big bank corporations. It will reduce the risk of a future government bailout while enhancing the safety of your deposits.

NOTE: Please let me know by submitting a comment on this post if you would like me to continue sharing links to on-line petitions on issues I write about. These petitions are an easy way to express your opinion and increase its weight by combining it with that of others. The effectiveness of these petitions varies greatly based on a wide range of factors, but there’s little downside given how quick and easy it is to do. Each petition also will give you a link to the advocacy organization sponsoring it. If it’s an issue you are particularly interested in, you may want to engage directly with the organization. One forewarning: in many cases when you sign a petition the sponsoring organization will put you on their email list. In some cases, there is a check box on the petition that you can uncheck if you don’t want the organization to start sending you information. You can, of course, always unsubscribe via any email you get from such an organization.

[1]       Popper, N., 4/18/13, “Wall St. redux: Arcane names hiding big risk,” The New York Times

[2]       Editorial, 8/2/13, “Tornado at the Fed? Obama has better choices than Summers,” The Boston Globe



  1. Thanks as always for bringing together various pieces of information in a helpful summary. I do not mind receiving posts with links to petitions because I am encouraged to discover that people are working for change. Having said that, I am always hesitant to sign a petition. As a non-American without voting rights and especially now that I no longer reside in the USA I hesitate to sign. If someone were to study the signatures, mine might invalidate the petition.

    1. Nancy, Thanks for the feedback. Yes, it is good to know that there are people working for change and that there are ways to connect with them and be part of the work for change. I understand your hesitancy to sign these petitions as they are directed at policy changes in the US. If you ever have observations or comments on how the issues I write about play out outside the US, I’d be interested in hearing them. I do read a blog from the UK and there are similar issues with the financial system and policies that are hurting low and middle income households over there. John

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